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Things supply teachers hate about class teachers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Quentin2, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Good for you, ShowerGel. I too have seen it from both sides. I hope as a class teacher I have always left things in a considerate way for supply and vice-versa as a supply for class teachers. It's down to commonsense and a bit of empathy really. Times are busy and we are (mostly) all doing our best. We are all teachers and it shouldn't be a case of "Them and Us". I have really appreciated those times when a supply teacher has filled in for me and left the childrens' learning in the right place for me to pick up where they left off and continue the sequence. Likewise, as a supply teacher there is a certain pride you take in your work; to consider what the class teacher needs you to do and make sure you do your darndest to achieve that by the end of the day. That's not a **** job, it's daily challenge, and usually a very enjoyable one too.
  2. The fact that you cannot spell properly says a lot about why teachers leave full instructions for you.
  3. Actually, as someone who has had to pay my own money to replace something a "helpful" supply teacher broke, I understand your attitude. Now, when I have a supply teacher (not often, maybe once per year), anything I don't want them to use, I lock up.
  4. Okay, I've been a cover teacher and now I am a qualified teacher. I would just like to say that
    pages of instructions are far better than 'create a poster' for an hour and a half lesson.
    I would never leave my laptop in my room if I were not there, that's down right irresponsible and I don't know a teacher that would! It isn't their responsibility to provide supplies with laptops. If somehting happens to it it would then be the teachers's fault. Also, what if the teacher doesn't have one at home, they might need it too.
    As a cover teacher I always came equipped with stationary.
    As for the clutter, absence is obviously not always planned for. That didn't bother me as cover either, not my mess so I didn't interfer!
  5. I think that supply teaching is the pits!!!!! and yes it is always the badly behaved classes (due to their teacher most of the time) that have supply teachers...

    There is never enought work set or left...and no laptops are never around...so it is tough to follow plans when it relies on using the whiteboard...I know....it always happened to me

    Why should we have to supply pencils????? ****...not a chance

    And talking of staffroom courtesy...you get looks and no one bothers to greet you... let alone ask if you need anything

    I am so glad I now have a permanent job...at least people talk to you and greet you and are polite!
  6. Totally agree. It is not a case of them and us. Are we not a professional organisation? Having been a mainstream teacher but now on supply - and I could fill my week twice over in high achieving schools - I find 99.9% of all classroom teachers will either phone me or email me prior to my taking their class. Work is always set accordingly and often I can save the class teacher leaving copious notes by talking things through beforehand. The last thing I want is for the class teacher to become stressed so much so that she/he loses interest in leaving her/his class in the hands of others. Commonsense is the key and an awareness of the pressure a class teacher is under. It goes without saying that marking should be completed professionally and thoroughly. Likewise, leave notes for the returning teacher about how the day went, behaviour problems, difficulties and successes. It just helps to complete the day.
  7. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I don't actually think Iamagoodgirl meant to cause offence - she was a supply teacher for a long time!
    Fair enough as long as if you end up on supply you don't expect to use the stuff that belongs to your class teacher. You don't always choose supply - it can choose you.
    I taught full time as a class teacher for more than a decade. I had some awful supply teachers. I also had some good ones. I'm going to sound really arrogant now but I think I did supply better than most when I did it. However, if you don't support your supply teachers, they're going to struggle to do a good job.
    Stopping supplies from using the IWB is a nonsense.
  8. I agree. It doesn't take much. I have done supply in both UK and Australia Some organised schools in Australia have a folder that remains in the drawer for the whole year. When I was permanent in Australia it was compulsary to have this prepared by the end of week 2. The folder contains basics such as
    • timetable - bell times
    • class lists
    • any serious allergies/medical conditions of students
    • summary of behaviour sanctions etc
    • name of senior teacher to contact in case of problems
    • names of reliable students for messages etc
    • details of any class reward scheme
    • daily routines etc. what do do once roll is marked
    • passwords for laptop etc
    It is really helpful and makes the day much more enjoyable - a quick read tells you what you need to know for the day.
    Staff would then just leave a plan for the day - no need to repeat all of the above information.
  9. You are a complete idiot!!!!! I feel so sorry for your class - they must love it when you are away - I know I would....#
    I thank God I will never have to supply for you....
    I hope it all comes back on you - ten fold!
  10. I work in a huge nursery to primary school that has a number of buildings around a 12000 people small city. Besides teaching regular fourth grade I'm the head of 'driver's education' - in Italy we start it at three. On October 8th, 2009 I went to one of the nursery schools to hand in some important papers one of the teachers had forgotten at a meeting a few days before. As I was leaving, a five year old crashed into me and I fell onto a step. I broke my leg. I was due in my classroom 10 minutes later. Of course, I did not leave anything prepared for the day. I use my own laptop for everything, from lesson preparation to grade keeping,laptop which was paid for by me, and I obviously don't leave it at school.
    The next day, before going into surgery, I emailed detailed lesson plans that did not cover how things should have been taught.
    After 6 weeks, I eagerly went back to school, only to catch the H1N1 flu and I had to stay home for two more weeks because my fever, though not very high (just about 39, when I usually reach 41 and over during regular flu) would not get away.
    I was absent for two weeks minus one day.
    Supply teacher had my kids fill up notebook after notebook of reading comprehension, but they were too easy for my standards. Her English skills were awful and my students lost a lot of their mostly excellent pronounciation (I'm bilingual since I was adopted), besides she just stopped teaching history (just two pages in our textbook!) and she never had them write a story. They never did music, because I teach it in English and she did not fell up to it, and she never did Arts because, yet again, she did not feel she was good enough to do it (like I am Leonardo or Monet!).

    I had to reteach most of the literature she did and the reading comprehension, and 'm behind every other fourth grade in my school.
  11. I've done both supply and permanent and both have their pro's and con's. In the main the schools I worked in as supply were on a long term basis and I was always treated with respect by all collegues. Really good schools set me up in the system, I had goodies left in my pigeon-hole, notes left saying thank you and presents bought by collegues and students alike when my time was up.
    Now I have a contract and, whilst I have the benefit of holiday pay etc, there is also the added stress of paperwork!
    We are all teachers, regardless of how we are contracted, and if we cannot treat one another with respect and common courtesy, what hope have we of being treated as professionals by those outside the profession?
    Some of the posts on here are a real concern, especially how some people think supply teachers should be treated. If I'm off, I'm happy for someone to come in, do their best and let me know what has gone on. If I want the class teaching as I teach it, then I teach it. I cannot expect someone to do exactly the same as I do, we're all different.
    People new to the profession - we're not all monsters!
    Nuff said...
  12. What a totally pointless thread, designed to get people making generalisations and attacking eachother.

    As in any walk of life, some full-time teachers and supply teachers will be excellent, others close to useless.

    I've done both, and have worked in over 50 schools, the majority on supply.

    This has actually become something of a moot point, as it is now
    impossible to make a living working on supply. Cover
    supervisors/learning managers/unqualified people have taken all the
    short-term cover, and I've been signing on since Christmas.

    As for the comments about coming equipped with stationary and pens etc,
    I have a box of equipment I carry around (provided at my own expense,
    not from the school stationary cupboard, a lot of which gets nicked by
    the kids no matter how hard I try t ensure it all comes back), but just
    how are you supposed to do anything productive when you have no access
    to a computer when the classroom only has an interactive whiteboard?
    It's a joke.

    And leaving a dvd for the lesson is fine, UNLESS you don't leave
    something to play it on (yes, your laptop, or a dvd player, maybe not
    in the room, but at least in the department, with a note saying where
    it is). Without this, it's a nightmare hour, with no work provided, no
    idea what the class are doing and kids who are taking full advantage of
    the situation.

    <strong style="font-weight:normal;">kne100 - It may not be your
    responsibility to provide 'supplies' with laptops, but IT IS YOUR
    RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that we are left the tools to do the job you
    are asking of us.[/b]

    SOME of the classrooms I've been in are, frankly, a total f*cking
    disgrace, and I have no idea how the teachers concerned can get away
    with leaving their room like a bomb has gone off.

    Some of the classrooms and lesson-plans/instructions left are
    fantastic, and it is then that supply teachers can get on with what we
    should be trying to do. Teach decent lessons, not run around trying to
    find the equipment/resources to do so while the kids go ape.

    And before I get a load of bs about how I must be substandard etc, here
    is part of a testimonial I received from a local school last academic
    year, before the work dried up:

    "Mr X always actively teaches his classes. He does not just hand out
    work and monitor the situation. He demonstrates good class management
    skills and has worked successfully with some behaviourally challenging
    classes. When he has had problems he has used our systems as we would
    wish. He is very energetic, proactive and displays a positive outlook
    to staff and students alike. His can-do attitude has been a good role
    model for students.

    I would recommend him to you as a very confident and very competent teacher."

    Do you see why I, and other supply teachers (calling us 'supplies' is
    derogatory and offensive by the way) get ****d off getting tarred with
    the same brush as those who do not put in the effort?

    With the advent of 'rarely cover', the standard of cover work, to my
    mind, should have improved, but it it still virtually always the
    perfunctory 'read pages and answer questions.' Not knowing what kind of
    teacher will be covering the lesson is no excuse. The lesson should be
    well planned, and instructions left accordingly. how hard would it be
    to write 'If this is not possible, then read pages and answer
    questions'? You are attacking us, but you are not holding up your end
    of the deal if this is the cover you leave.

    And as for the ad-hominem attacks regarding spelling. This site is the
    only one I know where my browser doesn't underline mistakes to flag
    them up. No idea why this is, but I have been caught out by it myself.
    I'm now typing this in my mail so spelling errors are flagged. Do you
    REALLY check, by eye, every post you make. If you think a spelling
    mistakes do anything to invalidate an argument or point of view, I
    suggest you grow up.
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I actually dont need an IWB to teach if i have a white board or even paper.......but its hard when your asked to use one and there is no machine or access code......and often no one else knows it and the ICT co-ordinator is busy.Luckily in most classes their is often one child who knows how to get into the machine! lol///ps if you tell me dear teacher to use a resouce locked into your resource area show me the path to it...or better still, as some do, make click a link to it on the desktop page!
    I can rustle up work easily and most lessons, but hate being left d and t when there are no resources...or a science experiment with no bits!....how do you teach magnets without magnets?....otherwise its not an experiment!

  14. So true, and it really is an insult to the pupils when they're left a sub-standard lesson. Recently the plan I was left for Y6 science had detailed instructions for an engaging experiment demonstrating evaporation and condensation. When I asked the phase leader for resources I was told to just draw the experiment on the board then teach the rest as planned. Nearly half an hour watching me do a **** drawing on the board... Booooring! So lucky it was a well-behaved class and they didn't act up, but honestly I find stuff like that disrespectful to the kids.
  15. Perhaps hate is too strong a word then if 'permanent' teachers are so offended.
    May I suggest a new title could be 'Things that don't make a supply teachers job any easier to do!'
    I have been refered to as 'not a proper teacher any more' by an ex- colleague which I have to say does give an idea to how teachers with contracts view supply. I am a good supply teacher. I leave feedback on the children's behaviour/work/achievements that day, mark any work I have given the children, never refuse to teach even when there is no planning (because I have a few tricks up my sleeve) and always ensure that what i do with the children is educationally beneficial. having done permanent as well I can tell you that some supply are great and some are not so. In other words don't pre-judge supply until they have covered for you and if they are good request them by name again.
    A smile from anyone costs nothing and means so very much more - this world is give and take and that's what we try to teach the children so we should lead by example!
  16. I'm a TA and I love working with supply teachers and my permanent class teacher so...there you go! Just had a glass of wine so all is well with the world! [​IMG]
  17. this is a cruel, unhelpful and unprofessional post. You do not know this person, what an awful thing to say! Far more offensive than the original post!

    We are suppose to be the same side! Educated, fair, unpredjudice individuals.

    I can't believe some of the things I am reading here! Our bussiness is boosting self esteem and confidence! You wouldn't think it to read here.
  18. What a totally pointless thread,

    But the longest contribution! Good one!

    I wonder shouldn't we all just remember that we do this job for children - heaven knows we wouldn't just do it for the money. Like many others I've been on both sides and I'll hold my hands up to not always preparing properly for supply - but then, like most of us, I'm not perfect!

    Chill ...live is too short!

  19. This seems a little drastic, in the same way that the vitriol which followed your original post seemed rather harsh. I must admit I just assumed you were a technophobe when you suggested you wouldn' t let a supply teacher use your PC/Smartboard in case you got a virus!

    I spent my first year of teaching as a supply teacher, learnt an enormous amount, enjoyed most of it and hated it occasionally (I never went back to that school). I've been in a full-time post for the last 10 years as a result of a few weeks' supply and I was invited for an interview at another school where I did supply.

    I enjoyed schools where the staff were friendly (and the kids were usually friendly and enthusiastic too) and this made more difference than what was left for me. As a secondary science teacher I did have nightmares after covering in a music dept. for a day and every lesson seemed to consist of "composing" on the keyboards. That kept them entertained for 10 minutes - now what? The music teachers in my current school still wind me up with this whenever I have to cover one of their lessons!

    Most of all I felt that if you wanted to be kind to a supply teacher set about making sure your kids and/or colleagues dislike you - I could tell instantly when this was the case and always had a thoroughly enjoyable and productive day with kids/teachers who were happy to see me!

    As a FT teacher I hate taking time off for courses and I'd rather struggle in sick as it's too much hassle to come up with tasks I can leave for a teacher who (almost always) isn't a subject specialist. (Why is it that every time was covering for a music teacher the Depute Head said "We needed a scientist last week!"? Which was hilarious 'cos last week the local authority told me they didn't need any scientists so I'd spent a week teaching art or digging the garden.) Now if you'll excuse me I have to spend some time planning tasks my classes will hate so they'll be nice to the supply teacher next time I'm off.
  20. Hello all
    I have been a supply teacher for fifteen years in secondary schools as a french specialist and have seen most types of cover work and can sympathise with many of the complaints on both sides . However folks, especially supply teachers ,the biggest problem is the fact that most cover is now done by unqualified people, cover supervisors TA's and so on.. Our unions have let us down . The supply teaching service should have been more tightly run and then it would have been unthinkable to reduce and sideline us. More teachers like myself are not hanging around for less work and are doing other things,. and the result will be that when a language (or science etc) teacher is needed for a few weeks there won't be one ! Hello word searches and posters for weeks on end for the suffering pupils. I was also getting very fed up with the uncomfortable relationship between supply teachers and cover supervisors,the latter making it clear we were not welcome and resenting our higher pay
    Such a pity schools are full of non teachers ! I am not too impressed with some of the writing on this site by teachers (sorry) so imagine the quality of language help given by the unqualified people ! We supply teachers are members of the teaching profession and often with impressive qualifications ;we've been treated very badly .

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